Today, I want to talk about a book that moved me so much. After I finished reading it, it haunted me for days before I felt able to write a review. This tale is a true story written as creative non-fiction. Because it reads like a novel in the first person, I had to keep reminding myself that this is someone's real life testimony, one full of courage, grit, and vulnerability. The author has a unique writing style all his own. I warn you the language may offend some. However, they are just words, descriptive words that are unique to this man's true life account.
Our lives in comparison couldn't be further apart, thus the title above. In fact, some people in my circle would call him a homeless, alcoholic. Well, that is exactly what he calls himself. But the author of Boxer Hobo, Johnny T. Noctor, tells a riveting tale that not only chronicles his life as a boxer, exposing his demons and vulnerabilities, it also exposes the underworld element of the boxing world in Australia. A courageous expose by a man not afraid to talk about how that world affected his life professionally and personally.
What moved me was his battle to sobriety. I found it amazing that after falling into the depths of alcoholism on numerous occasions over the years, his mental focus was so intense that he was able to overcome the physical affects and throw himself into the extreme physical training required of a boxer and find his way back to sobriety and another fight. And it wasn't just his journey that fascinated me. This man wormed his way into my mind and into my heart because he is a writer. A VERY TALENTED WRITER, in my opinion. I love his writing style.
Here is a description of his book from Amazon:
When a homeless alcoholic boxer wakes up in a Tasmanian Neuro-Trauma ward with a fractured skull, doctors inform him he won't be able to box or drink alcohol ever again. Though he's now having seizures and in excruciating pain, that's not an option for this thirsty pugilist. While in hospital, he has no visitors or phone calls because nobody it seems has contacted his family. No one is willing to help him find out who attacked him on the dark streets of Hobart, they say he probably fell over drunk, but this old tramp knows different and is determined to find out who the perpetrator was. The Hobo refuses to give in to the prejudice of society's laws and is determined to get well and fight again. After all, he took up boxing to keep off the grog.
This is the review I gave him:
I don't even know where to begin about how this story affected me. I have never been a boxing fan, or understood the need for men to bash each other's brains out, but this story is spellbinding. Johnny Noctor gets under your skin, into your head and has you feeling his pain, sharing his dreams, and rooting for the underdog. Entering a world filled with criminal intent came as no surprise but reinforced that the boxing world is a corrupt one that feeds on human prey.
Our worlds couldn't be further apart, but the author writes with such an intensity and passion that I not only lived every step of the way with him, but understood his frustrations, his demons, and his hobo existence. On one hand, I'm angry at him and want to shake him and tell him he is a highly intelligent man who has many talents, writing and boxing just two of them. So why does a self-proclaimed alcoholic healing from brain damage, whose behavior is up one day and down the next, let his low self-esteem drag him under and allow himself to be used as a human punching bag?
On the other hand I admire his courage, his tenacity, and his ability to keep dragging himself out of the lows and put himself back on his feet. I admire him for not giving up on his dreams. I respect his intelligence and his obvious writing ability and unique style.
This is a story of a man who isn't afraid to expose his frailties and the corruption and injustice of others. A must read for anyone who has the guts to enter the world of boxer hobo.
Keep writing Johnny, I want to read more.
Johnny Noctor self-published his book through Amazon. He has received 5-star reviews. He remained sober during the editing and publishing process, and has been travelling through Tasmania and Australia promoting his book. He is writing a sequel book as you read this. His book is available on Amazon. See the link below and a link to his blog site.
To all the writer's out there, keep on keeping on writing!